Orlando Magic center Shaquille O'Neal sprained a ligament in his right thumb during last night's 106-91 exhibition victory over the Miami Heat and could miss a month or more.
The official diagnosis will not be made until today when swelling has gone down around the base of the thumb. O'Neal was fitted with a temporary cast before he left Orlando Arena last night.
O'Neal said he was raked across the hand by Miami center Matt Geiger in the second quarter, bending his thumb back.
"[Geiger] chopped me, hit me like all those guys do," an angry O'Neal said. "Now the doctors tell me I've got to sit out four or five weeks. I'm mad about this. It shouldn't take someone getting hurt for people to stop chopping me."
Keenan tells Hull he's out as captain
Brett Hull is out as captain of the St. Louis Blues, but coach Mike Keenan yesterday said it's nothing personal.
"The heck it's not personal," Hull told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch when told of Keenan's comments. "It is personal. . . . It's a complete slap in the face. If I had done something to deserve it . . ."
Keenan abruptly removed Hull as captain Monday and appointed Shayne Corson to the role. Hull had been captain more than three seasons.
Right wing Valeri Karpov broke his right forearm just above the wrist during Monday night's loss to the Colorado Avalanche and may be lost to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for up to three months.
Rockies' Saberhagen has shoulder surgery
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen of the Colorado Rockies underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair ligament damage in his pitching shoulder.
Former accountant testifies in King trial
Joseph Maffia, a former accountant for Don King, testified the--promoter told him to designate $350,000 of an advance paid to a boxer as training expenses.
The second day of testimony by Maffia before a federal jury in Manhattan concerned the heart of the government's case against the longtime promoter of some of the biggest names in boxing.
Maffia, testifying with immunity, told the jury he never saw a contract for a 1991 fight between Julio Cesar Chavez and Harold Brazier. The fight was canceled after Chavez cut his nose. The cancellation triggered an effort to collect on a Lloyd's of London insurance policy taken out before the fight.
Morrison charged: Heavyweight boxer Tommy Morrison, accused of punching one woman in the face and biting another woman's finger, was charged with assault in Jay, Okla.
"We denied the allegations made against Tommy last week," Morrison's lawyer, Stuart Campbell, said. "We still deny the allegations this week and we will continue to deny the allegations next week."
Sturm to take on Osborne: Baltimore junior welterweight Chuck Sturm (29-4-1), seeking a second title shot, will battle Allan Osborne (8-14-1) of Farmdale, Ohio, in the 10-round main event at the Wyndham Hotel tonight in Annapolis. For ticket information, call (410) 266-3131, ext. 121.
TSU men's soccer team moves to 14th in nation
Towson State's men's soccer team climbed to No. 14 in this week's Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America poll, the Tigers' highest ranking ever. This is the fifth straight week the Tigers (13-2) have been ranked nationally.
Towson also is rated No. 2 in the NCAA Division I South Atlantic Region. (Poll, Page 6D)
Duggan leads LPBT: Anne Marie Duggan averaged 217.5 over six games to move from seventh place to a four-pin lead in the LPBT's Eastern Open at Country Club Lanes in Baltimore. Second was Carol Norman.
NCAA will reconsider decision: The NCAA will reconsider its decision to declare Kenny Thomas, New Mexico's top basketball recruit, ineligible for the coming season, said the player's attorney, Pete Domenici Jr.
Arena to coach under-23 team: Bruce Arena, who guided Virginia to four straight NCAA titles, was selected to coach the U.S. under-23 national soccer team, which will serve as the Olympic team next year.
Becker wins: Boris Becker, returning strong after a four-week layoff, beat Sweden's Magnus Gustafsson, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, at the Eurocard Open in Essen, Germany.
The 700 Club
The Washington Redskins' Henry Ellard on Sunday became the sixth player to reach 700 NFL receptions. Name the other five. (Answer, 6D)
Art Monk (934), Jerry Rice *67), Steve Largent (819), James lofton (764) and Charlie Joiner (750).
Good as gold . . . silver . . . and bronze